The PGA Tour may be winding down for the winter break but there’s been no sign of anybody taking it easy at Saint Simons Island, Georgia. Locals tasked with getting both the Seaside and Plantation courses ready for the RSM Classic had to deal with the damaging impact of both Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Hermine. It’s a minor miracle that the tournament will be taking part this week and the organisers have been rewarded with a quality field.
Nobody who’s made the trip to Georgia is in any way confused about what it will take to win the RSM Classic. Hosted at two short courses (the players will play a round each at the Seaside and Plantation courses before the Seaside Course hosts the weekend’s action) this is not a tournament where the longer hitters have any advantage. Hitting fairways and greens in regulation is relatively easy so the winner here tends to be whoever has the best game on and around the greens.
It is easy to think of the RSM Classic as something of a putting competition. Certainly putting well is a necessity at both host venues but, as always when it comes to putting, it’s more complicated than first appears. The greens at the Seaside Course in particular are tough to read so it’s going to be a combination of the mental and physical. Then there’s the importance of a solid wedge game. Hit the ball closer to the hole and your task on the greens becomes easier, so focus too on those with good stats in terms of proximity to the hole.
In Form Kirk to Strike
You don’t need to tell Chris Kirk how to score well at the RSM Classic. The American won the tournament in 2013 and has three more top 20 finishes at Saint Simons Island. As well as possession of all the key stats needed to go low this week, Kirk is in very good form right now with three top 10 finishes in his last four starts. He’s fancied to go well by the bookies but the odds of 18/1 that Coral are quoting still look fair.
Glover’s Improving Putting Can Catch Fire
Only a matter of months ago you would never consider Lucas Glover for a crack at the RSM Classic. The 37-year-old remained a solid player from tee to green but his putting was nothing short of a shambles. Putting woes have cost numerous players their careers so Glover deserves great credit for getting over the worst of his issues. He’s now putting with confidence and can prove to himself that the work was worth it by picking up a huge win this week at odds of 35/1 with Bet365.
Cink’s Experience Can Pay Dividends
Stewart Cink is at the stage of his career where he needs to carefully pick and choose his starts. That seems to be working out well for him. Cink’s gone T15-T15 in his last two starts and he’s capable of improving on that in Georgia. Cink is one of the very best wedge players in the history of the game. Couple that with a solid four days with the putter and Cink will look well over priced at 110/1 with Bet365.